Based on a conversation overheard in a coffee shop, based on the fact that this conversation is one I hear so much that usually I don’t even give it a second thought when I hear it in coffee shops, on the bus, in stores, by my friends, by my family, by young 13 year old girls by 58 year old women.
“So I tried this new diet plan yesterday…”
“Oh, ya? Which one?” Julie asks sipping her non fat, zero sugar frappacino.
“The one with the 21 day program that the girl in that new reality TV show started.” Becca answers
“Oh ya that one! Haven’t tried that one yet but my sister’s friend did. She lost some weight but she must have gained it all back and some right now. She’s trying the one with the small pre prepped containers now”
“I did that one too! It was actually pretty good, it worked for a solid 3 or 4 months.”
“No way!” Julie exclaims “I’ll have to try it next, that is if this Keto thing doesn’t work out for me”
Both girls share a look and an unspoken message which I dare say most women would instantly recognizes passes through their features.
“Ok,” Julie concedes “I guess it’s not if the Keto diet doesn’t work but when it stops working. It’s been going on 5 months now so pretty great diet”
“So on the topic of health what are you doing for fitness?” Julie asks Becca
“Well, I am doing this really intense workout every morning and doing a walk every night. I’m on pain killers almost every day but that must mean it’s working.” Becca says
“Oh, for sure!”Julie says “I’m kind of in awe of you, I just can’t seem to make myself go to the gym every day. I’m only going maybe 4 times a week, and then I binge eat and I feel so sick and depressed and don’t go in the next day.”
“We’ve all been there Julie, you’ll find a way to get in more often, sometimes we just need a break. Like a week of only going 3 times and then being able to go in every day will be so much easier.”
“You’re right” says Julie with a new fire in her eyes “I’ll try that”
A moment of silence passes as they both contemplate their own inability to be healthy and take care of their bodies. Why can’t they just stick to their diets like regular people, why can’t they shed that extra 5 pounds of extra weight? They both struggle to tame their inner voices shouting that they are failures, when they promise themselves they will try harder, that they will lose that 5 pounds if it kills them they look up from the coffees.
“Did you see how much weight Karen from the Hilltop show gained?” Julie says
“OMG, yes! It’s disgusting.”
And just like that the inner hate is released in another toxic way.
Does this conversation seem normal to you? It did to me at some point and then I learned something, this conversation is bullshit, this conversation is what society and the diet industry has reduced our self care and body image to. Do we need to take care of our bodies? Yes, 100% yes, but, is short term diets which are meant to last for the short and not long term the way to go? No it’s not. These diets are engineered to be for the short term, they are made so that when the diet fails you (and yes, it’s not you failing the diet) you give yourself shit, eat all the weight back, become desperate and put all your money back in the same industry. Why can’t we treat our bodies with love, don’t overwork them in the gym so much you need painkillers, don’t eat junk to fill voids, come from a place of self love in all choices food, fitness and otherwise. Let’s stop this body shaming for ourselves and for others, let’s realize that we, as woman, all struggle with some aspect of self doubt and body image issues from as young as 10 years old. Let’s switch the stories and show ourselves love but each other love as well. There’s more to life than diets and the quest for the perfect body (which doesn’t even exist by the way, it’s been created by society) when we figure that out and treat ourselves with love than we will find not only our version of a perfect body (because everybody’s bodies are different) but some goddamn inner peace for once.
What did you find off about this conversation? Let me know below!